Monday, April 6, 2009

Sweet Bird's Nests

It's almost Easter! Time for sweet treats. I'm bringing these bird's nests to Mya's class for her "Easter party #1." They're super simple to make. Mya even helped me with them.

Chow Mein Noodles (the cracker-like stuff - not real chow mein)
Butterscotch Morsels
Cadbury Mini Eggs (yes, we got into our bag before making this)

Step 1: Melt the butterscotch morsels. I use the double boiler method since I don't get good results with my microwave oven. But if you're comfortable with your microwave oven, by all means, go for it.

Step 2: Add chow mein noodles. We added about half a package (or 8 oz.) of noodles.

Step 3: Mix. It's more like folding. You don't want to break up the noodles too much.

Step 4: Make nests. Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Using a tablespoon, scoop the noodles into little piles on the lined sheet. Using your fingers, manipulate the noodles so that they become nest-like.

Step 5: Add eggs. Add the candy eggs while the butterscotch is still melted and they will stick to the nest when it's cooled.

Step 6: Allow to cool and harden. You can either leave them out or do what I did and stick them in the fridge.

And that's it!! Easy peasy. I've got more to make this week–Treats for both kids and adults.

Ortwine's - Going back in time

When I first got my driver's license up until her passing, I used to take my grandma to Ortwine's (or as she would say, "Ornshwines") to get craft supplies and yarn. Ortwine's is a hardware/general/craft supply/sewing supply store that's been around since the 60's or 70's. It's located in an older neighborhood of South East San Diego. My friend, Phuong, found the store a few weeks ago and I was surprised that it was still open. I decided to take a trip there on Saturday, lugging along my two girls. I really wanted to show Mya where "mommy used to go when she was a little girl."

Once we stepped in, it was just as I remembered it - hardware and some general items to the left, craft items to the right and in the back, fabric, yarn, trims and notions. The aisles were tighter than I remember (maybe it was because I was smaller back then) and it was still disorganized and dusty. The best part... they don't update their inventory unless there's a need to. So the store was stuck somewhere between the early 70's and mid-80's and so were their prices. I think their inventory of fabric trims and zippers is a lot larger than Joann's (although it a much smaller space).

I took a few photos of the craft and sewing items with my camera phone:

Their yarn inventory - this is what I remember the most since my grandma loved to crochet.

Rotary phone in the back.

Zippers galore!! They also had 50 cent zippers up front.

Every color and size of bias tape that you can think of!

Their trims, trims and trims! (Sorry for the fuzzy photo)

Stacks of vintage fabric - lots of cotton. Notice the pipes and hardware in the background.

These creepy doll-making faces. Yikes!

There were lots of other interesting things, like paper napkins and tablecloths from the 70's, serving and warming pieces from the early 80's, pea shooters from who knows when, and lots of general hardware supplies. It's worth checking out if you like that kind of stuff.

Ortwine's Hardware & Appliance:
4715 Federal Blvd
San Diego, CA 92102

Friday, April 3, 2009

Back from a hiatus - Brayden's Quilt

Yes, I know it's been months since I've last posted something. But I promise you that more things are coming!! I've been on hiatus since having the baby, the holidays, then a crazy hectic schedule with some church events and work. But I promised myself that I'd find time to work on a project during my down time.

I had little bits of down time last week and have been intermittently working of this quilt. This quilt has a story...

My good friend, Mary, was having a baby boy and I had offered to help plan her shower along with her friend. Needing inspiration, I looked towards fabric and found this super cute Michael Miller fabric called "Silhouette Boys." It had coordinating fabric and everything! So I started pulling together some ideas and came up with the inspiration board below:

So the party ended up revolving around the blue and brown color and this "Boy" fabric. I even made invitations to match (A brown ribbon was tied to the top):

I bought the blue boy fabric and the brown fabric with the blue dots to use as decoration for the party. I turned them into table runners and wrapped some cylindrical flower vases with the fabric. Unfortunately, I was so busy at the party that I forgot to take pics!!

I had the intent of using the fabric to make a quilt... and I actually did - in record time!! This came out to approximately 36" x 46" - a good crib quilt size. I had the blue "boy silhouette" fabric, the dots and even the white fabric was the tablecloth at the party. I went to my friend, Pam, again to dig through her stash and found a black fabric with gold printing for my border. I was afraid that it wouldn't really match up since the silhouettes were a very dark brown but I think it worked out quite well.

I machine-quilted this bad-boy with my 301. It was the first time I tried stippling (thanks to Crazy Mom Quilts for giving me courage to try it). Some areas were looser than others but overall it turned out okay.

My favorite part is the back. I messed up my measurements, cutting 2.5" strips instead of 1.5". So I had a whole bunch of 1" strips laying around after fixing my mistake. I pieced those strips together to make the band on the bottom half. I pieced the rest of the leftover fabric and I nearly used up all my fabric! I love it when it works out that way. The quilting really stands out on the black fabric - you can see my stippling and crosshatching on the squares. Oh, and of course, I had to label my quilt. I finally bought muslin and freezer paper - now I have to label Mya's quilt, too.

Well, this was quilt #3 for me. I'm getting the hang of it. I still have to work on pinning my "quilt sandwich." I had a few areas that were bunched up and was real frustrated with myself. One day, I'll have a totally flat quilt... one day.

Oh, I have to add... Brayden was born this past Monday, March 30th. The quilt was finished on the 29th. Good timing, eh?

Next up on my project list:

  • Easter's coming!! It's one of my favorite times of the year since I can make Spring treats!

  • I went to an awesome garage sale and bought a Bernina serger for $50!! I'll show you an easy grocery bag using one piece of fabric (no serger needed for it, but having it is nice).

  • Mya needs jeans. Pam recommended a good pattern and I'm going to face my fear of making pants (story on that to come).